British cyclist Sarah Storey won her second gold medal at the 16th Paralympics in Tokyo during a C5 time trial. She had a stunning feat that tied with swimmer Mike Kenny as the greatest Paralympian of all time for Britain and BBC football.
She finished the race with an impressive 36 minutes and 8 seconds in the Women’s Time Trial C5 road cycling event in Fuji Speedway. Her teammate Crystal Lane-Wright finished second with a record of 37 minutes and 40 seconds. German Kerstin Brachtendorf finished in the third position with 38 minutes and 34 seconds.
The Leading Paralympian
Storey dominated the competition with her single-mindedness and tactical approach. She has spoken about the kind of focus and determination that brought her to this point in her life and won 16 gold medals.
She said “Sweet 16! Can I be 16 again?”, as she laughed while bearing the glorious gold medal around her neck.
“I never set out on this journey to be Britain’s greatest Paralympian, but to match the best man and to have more other medals is just a dream come true,” she added.
“Well, It is almost a dream that was not one. I know it was asked of me after Rio about what I would do. Would I stop now? Have another baby? What will you do? The closer we got to Tokyo the more it became like: this is a possibility, it really could happen. You just don’t know. I have got better as I have got older,” said the Paralympian champion.
Stunning Race Record
Storey’s 36 minutes and 8 seconds record in the 24-kilometre race is very impressive. She leads the race with a 1 minute and 31 seconds time difference ahead of her fellow British cyclist Crystal Lane-Wright, who also will be her main competition in the next match.
The gold medalist said, “It was one of the most perfect days today, the conditions were perfect. It was not too hot. No wind. The course is super quick. The corners were grippy and I rode a really good line and carried speed. I got caught up in a bit of traffic at times perhaps as I was going a bit quicker than they had anticipated.”
“They do it incredibly well so you don’t get mixed up with the lads, but I was in with the rest of the lads. I had to keep my head, know the rules, make sure you stay out of trouble, and finish it off well,” she added.
The highlight of Her Career
Her achievement in Tokyo Paralympics is her recent crème de la crème as a cyclist, before her cycling career, she started as a swimmer in 1992. She was previously informed that she was dropped in team pursuit selection in the 2012 Olympic Games.
Storey said that the time trial is her favourite event and she believed that it suits her character well and enhanced her abilities.
“It’s the race of truth, the chance to pitch yourself against yourself more than anything. See if you can pick off your competitors in the process. It has that little bit of everything. It has that race bit, that competitiveness, but also that single-mindedness that has carried me through my whole career.”
“If you weren’t single-minded when you followed that black line in the swimming pool you wouldn’t last very long. That is probably why I am so suited to this event,” she added.
She is currently tied with swimmer Mike Kenny with 16 gold from 1976 to 1988, as one of the greatest British Paralympians. She is planning to celebrate her current achievement.
“Road races are so unpredictable, they are. So Thursday morning I’ll come out and try to have some fun and see which way the cookie crumbles,” said Storey with a smile on her face.
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